Chepangs seek resettlement from famine-hit Brushbang

Brushbang, December 11

As many as 31 households of Chepangs, a nomadic community, living in far flung Mahadevsthan of Brushbang, Dhading, have sought resettlement in better places owing to famine and water crunch.

Brushbang is located at an altitude of 1,845 metres in the southern part of the Mahabharata range.

The local Chepang community suffers from famine and drinking water crunch almost nine months a year.

They have no option but to walk for at least two hours to fetch a pitcher of water due to lack of water resources nearby. The maize grown in the local fields suffices hardly three months. The other days they make do with nettle shoots, green vegetables  and wild fruits, among others, as per Chepang leader Siddhi Bahadur Chepang.

Meanwhile, scores of children from the community have been deprived of education for want of school in their locality. As the village is far flung, the locals don’t even get the chance to work as wage labourers.

Rajendra Pandey, a lawmaker from Constituency No 3 held a discussion with the Chepangs of Brushbang about their hardships and shifting their settlement. He also discussed the process of relocating them. The Chepang folks had handed over a memorandum to lawmaker Pandey and urged him to help with water supply in their locality.

According to Pandey, the Chepangs are taking initiatives to shift their residence to a feasible place where they can establish a model residence as it is not possible to manage water in the remote village. He said discussion on utilisation of land, cultivation, safety of women and children, health and education facility, among others, needed to be discussed with the stakeholders before relocating them.

“If the state can allocate necessary budget to manage education, health, drinking water, sanitation, alternative source of energy, irrigation and electricity for the Chepang community in a unified manner, the marginalised community will be relieved,” said Pandey.

Senior citizen Tek Bahadur Chepang of Brushbang said it would be better if they were resettled in any part of Mahadevsthan VDC as they are used to living in the cold climate.